THE owner of a Skipton beauty salon is sitting pretty after winning a prestigious award.

Helen Turncock, who runs Velvet Beauty Studio in Otley Street, has been named as Beauty Therapist of the Year at a national awards ceremony.

Helen, 26, got into the final last year, but insisted she had not anticipated taking the top prize this time.

"I'm really pleased, I totally wasn't expecting it," she said. "I'm hoping it will help with my business."

She has been running her Otley Street salon since finishing her training in 2010 and spending a short period working at a spa in Helmsley.

Helen, who went to Skipton Girls' High School, did a short course in beauty therapy at Craven College, but then did a psychology degree at York University before deciding on her present career, partly because her sister was doing a course on it in London.

Helen did research into the best training, which led her to the Yorkshire College of Beauty Therapy in Yeadon, which she said provided the top qualifications available.